Brilliance Security Magazine sat down with Vanderbilt Industries President Mitchell Kane at ISC West this year in an attempt get a sense of how the new company’s performance measures up to the goals they were working toward last year at this time.
A year ago, at the last ISC West Conference, Brilliance Security Magazine reported that Vanderbilt Industries was closing in on an acquisition of Security Products from Siemens. The always charismatic Mr. Kane happily reported this year that the acquisition was successful in every sense they had hoped for. He was quick to point out that the integration of the two companies is an ongoing process but he is pleased with the progress they have made thus far. He notes that the dealer network that the Siemens Security Products equipment brought to the new organization exposed them to markets that they previously were not penetrating.
The Siemens products – which include access control, intrusion alarm, and video surveillance offerings – include brand names, such as Aliro, SPC and Vectis. Mitch stated that these products, along with the varieties more familiar to the U.S. market such as Bright Blue, are now all offered under the moniker of Vanderbilt Industries.
At this point, which Mitch describes as being halfway through their three-year plan, they have exceeded their sales projections and expanded their salesforce. They now have four regional sales managers covering the U.S., one of which is new. They recently brought on industry veteran Kim Loy as Director of Marketing and a new Vice President of Sales for North America in Eric Widlitz.
When asked if he felt that his optimism of a year ago was warranted he emphatically replied “absolutely yes.” He supports that notion by indicating that his sales projections of a year ago were very aggressive and the company has in fact exceeded them.
When asked to prognosticate about what he thought we would be talking about in our interview next year at ISC West he indicated that he hopes to have full integration of the European products completed by then and this achievement will reinforce their position as the largest independent business of its kind in the security industry.
Mitch talked about what he sees as a seismic shift in how integration partners are working in the enterprise space. He believes this shift is related to how today’s security systems are often owned and procured by IT not the security department. This new paradigm puts the security integrator in a more consultative role.
He talked about how many sophisticated end users are looking more and more to manufacturers for design assistance. He was unequivocal, however, in his position that Vanderbilt is committed to their integrator partners and emphasized that it is the integrator that brings them to the table.
End users are, more than ever before, concerned about the security related to every device that is connected to their networks, Mitch explained.
He continued, another way end users are protecting their networks is the convergence of logical and physical security. Although the technology to do so is not particularly new, more end users are looking for features that, for example, deny access to their network unless the access control system indicates that the user is indeed in the building from which they are requesting network access.
Mitch, like many others, expressed concern over how slowly the physical security industry is embracing this new network-centric converged world. In many ways this hesitation has created the vacuum that we now see being filled by our network security and InfoSec counterparts.
As a parting comment, Mitch reasserted his vision for Vanderbilt Industries that they are not striving to be seen as a manufacturer of security products, rather they endeavor to be seen as a quality customer support organization that just happens to manufacture the products they offer.